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Minnesota History Center
345 Kellogg Blvd W.
Saint Paul, MN 55102-1903
651-259-3000,
800-657-3773
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Photographs

Display

Display copies of important photographs instead of the originals

If originals are displayed, keep light exposure to a minimum:

  • Display photographs for a while and then store them so that none are exposed to light for long periods of time.
  • Turn off the lights when no one is in a room. Use lower wattage bulbs.
  • Place on walls that get the least amount of sun.
  • Close draperies and blinds when out of the room for extended periods of time or when not at home.
  • Use ultra-violet filtering glass or acrylic for framed photographs. Use an acid-free mat or a spacer so the front of the photographs does not touch the glass.

Storage

Eleven inductees from the Iron Range at U. S. O. center, St. Paul, ca. 1942. Photograph Collection. Location no. E448.25 p2, Negative no. 61268
Minnesota men posed with their bomber
squad, Station 145, near Norwich, England,
April 1944.
  • Store photographs and important documents in a cool, dry place where there is minimal fluctuation in temperature and humidity. Avoid attics and basements.
  • Store individual photographs and slides in polyester or polypropylene pages or sleeves. Acid-free sleeves or envelopes, which have passed a standardized "photographic activity test" are another option for photographs.
  • When purchasing albums or storage boxes, look for those that are acid-free and have passed a "photographic activity test."
  • Never put an adhesive on your photographs. Use photo corners, polyester mounting strips or sleeves to mount photographs in albums.
  • Store negatives in a separate location from albums and prints. In the event of a disaster, you will have two chances for your photographs to survive.
  • Use a soft pencil to label photographs or paper that might come into contact with photographs.
  • Handle your photographs and negatives by their edges and with clean hands to avoid soiling the surface.

Other Resources

This handout is being distributed by the Conservation Outreach Program of the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) as a public service. The distribution of this handout does not constitute a recommendation by MHS of any specific vendor or their products, nor will MHS assume liability for products supplied by a vendor. Each application must be evaluated individually and materials selected that best suit the condition of the object and how it is to be used. If you have questions about a particular application, treatment, or service, please contact the MHS Conservation Outreach program at: 651-259-3465, 1-800-657-3773, FAX at 651-296-9961 or email at conservationhelp@mnhs.org.